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Bosniak lyrical poetry

What is Sevdah?

Sevdah, which comes from the Arabic sawdā, or black bile (more accurately, melancholy), is a genre of lyrical love songs, or sevdalinka, sung with or without accompanying music that is part of the Bosniak cultural heritage. Sevdah at its core is a joining of Slavic and Ottoman cultures that equally contribute to the beauty and value of each individual sevdalinka, a reflection of the general culture and history of Bosnia.

The sevdah tradition emerged during the Ottoman period as a mainly urban musical tradition, sung by both men and women about a variety of themes, but most often about love…

Ania Becker

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